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Meet Ciarlo.

Despite being born with a severe form of Spina Bifida, having surgery at just 21 hours and a shunt placed in his brain at two weeks, Ciarlo – who is paralyzed from the waist down – has a personality that brightens every room. In fact, he’s been nicknamed “The Mayor” because of his outgoing, cheerful demeanor.

It’s an outlook that means everything for a family that’s dealt with so much. In 2016, Ciarlo’s older brother, Dominic, lost his battle to brain cancer. Since Dominic’s death, the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) has provided emotional, social and spiritual support to help the family work through their grief. Ciarlo meets with a PACT child life therapist, and his parents see a PACT bereavement social worker. Funds raised through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals support PACT and other programs that help children and families cope with the hospital experience.

Ciarlo continues to bring his unique brand of joy to everyone he meets. He’s proud of his accomplishments, and loves telling people that his first word was “stethoscope.”